Done properly, blogging is an excellent way to build personal relationships with your potential and actual cost. Sharing your knowledge and expertise, and most importantly, your solutions to your audience’s problems, establish you as a trusted expert and leader in your field. In other words, a well-executed blog attracts customers to YOU and influences their decisions.
Read on as we present the 17 Blogging Mistakes to Avoid in 2024, and, more importantly, the solutions to those problems.
1. Forgetting That Content is King
“A lot of marketers are under the assumption that simply creating more content than the competition will get them the results they want. I beg to differ. If Google algorithm updates like Panda and Penguin have shown us anything, it’s that quality trumps everything else.”
~ Neil Patel, Co-founder of KISSmetrics Crazy Egg
When it comes to blogging, quantity IS important, but the quality is absolutely crucial. Firstly, it provides real value to your readers and helps your website get noticed by search engines.
“Quality” is an overused-but-vague buzzword, it is what establishes the value of your blog, drives the marketing performance of that blog, and ultimately, promotes your business or service.
Even if you don’t know exactly what quality content is, you definitely already recognize what it is not.
If you performed a web search for ANY topic, you would be instantly inundated by a massive overload of outdated, poorly-written blogs and website content – inaccurate, irrelevant, boring, outdated, hard to read, and full of errors.
With your blog, your most important job is to do better than that.
Great blogs don’t happen by accident. They are carefully crafted and designed to tell your story. Every paragraph in every blog published on your website has to be engaging informative, and, most importantly, relevant to what your target audience is looking for.
2. Lack of Originality
They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but there is a world of difference between inspiration and derivation. If all you are doing is rehashing the same information that can be found on all of your competitors’ websites, how does YOUR business stand out?
Tell your audience something they have never heard before. Give them the complete information and in-depth analysis that no one else provides. You stand out by showing them something new.
Even worse than parroting someone else’s message and trying to repackage it as your own is copying their work, whether word-for-word or spinning their content slightly. Up to 30% of all writing found on the Internet is duplicate content.
This is lazy, it erodes your readers’ trust, and it gets your website penalized by top search engines. It’s okay to take inspiration from another source, but it’s not okay to copy them word-for-word or idea-for-idea. Spinning an article by substituting a synonym here and there and slightly moving things around is still plagiarism.
It’s easy – write your own content. If you are unsure if a particular blog is too similar to someone else’s, run the article through plagiarism-checking software such as Copyscape.
4. Inaccurate Information
Closely related to copycat content are blogs containing outdated or just wrong information. Both avoidable mistakes are the result of not conducting your research. If some other website’s blog contains an error, and all you are doing is repeating what they say, you will repeat their errors as well.
Always conduct your research. Use “authority” sources such as governmental, educational, or scientific websites, journals, and studies. If those particular sources do not apply to your blog, refer to other trusted sources, such as recognized experts or news outlets.
5. Clickbait Content
Whereas plagiarism has been a problem as long as writing has existed, “clickbait contact” is a relatively new phenomenon. This is when the headline is misleading and promises new information or answers a question without ever delivering on that promise.
Yes, it can increase traffic to your website as people click through to read your supposedly uniquely informative blog, but then when the blog is irrelevant or offers incomplete information, readers are left frustrated and distrustful of your brand.
Make sure the article itself delivers on the promises made by the title headline. As important as it is to write a captivating headline that draws readers in, is even more important to have good-quality blog content that matches the expectations of your audience.
6. Ignoring Your Audience
Blog content should ALWAYS be written with your desired audience/potential customers in mind. Too many blogs seem written with the author or company in mind. They give information that, while accurate, doesn’t address the needs of the questions that readers might have.
If you truly want to give your audience (customers) usable information that inspires trust in your brand and prompts them to take action, tell them something that no one else is. They read your blog because they have an unanswered question or a problem. Give them the answers they want and help them solve their problems.
7. Pushing Products Instead of Solutions
This is one of the biggest mistakes that companies make up their blogs – talking about their products and their wonderful features without ever really touching on how those features benefit the customer.
Readers want to know more than what a product/service is and what it does. They want to know what it does for THEM. They are reading your blog because they have a need or a problem that they hope you can solve.
Keep this important fact in mind – a blog is not a catalog or a brochure. You can create other tabs on your website that serve that purpose. Your blog is supposed to help you tell the story of why your customers should trust you and use your products and services. Every blog should provide answers and solutions to your readers’ questions, needs, and problems.
8. Not Answering Comments
Great blog content is supposed to inform and engage your readers and prompt them to take action. When that happens, individual customers will often post a question or a comment on your blog.
This is a fantastic outcome because it means your blog has done its job – someone is talking about your product and/or wants to know more.
If you do not respond to that question or comment promptly, not only have you lost that individual potential customer, but you have also alienated every other reader who had the same question or reaction.
Make it a point to regularly respond to each and every comment posted about your blogs. It helps build trust and fosters better client relationships.
9. Long Intros
For better or worse, today’s readers seem to have a shorter attention span than ever before. This means that your blog must grab their attention immediately. That starts with an introduction that they can instantly tell is relevant to their needs.
Unfortunately, in the rush to deliver information and promote your company’s products and services, it is all too easy to start with a long introduction that covers way much ground for readers to absorb. They are turned off before they even read what you have to say.
Additionally, blog articles with weak introductions are less likely to be noticed by topic search engines.
In other words, you can have the best content in the world, but it doesn’t matter if everyone leaves before they read it.
A great introduction sets up the rest of the blog by:
- Giving the reader a preview of the content
- Providing a definite answer to a question
- Promises to explain the answer
- Encourages continued reading
The introduction is not the place to explain everything or go into minute detail. In fishing terms, the headline is supposed to hook the reader, the introduction is supposed to set the hook, and the body of the blog is supposed to reel them in.
10. Walls of Text
Short reader attention span also matters within the body of the blog. Long paragraphs that create walls of text can be intimidating and cause readers to quickly lose interest.
Yes, you want your blog to be as accurate and informative as possible, but it must be easy to read. This is especially true when your blog is being read on smaller tablets or smartphone screens.
Write shorter sentences and paragraphs and try to keep the vocabulary and reader experience at an 8th-grade level. Every 250-300 words, use frequent subheadings that break up a long, monotonous text.
Most writing programs have a tool that allows you to check the reading level of your blog, and there are also several available applications that do the same.
11. Not Including Images
According to digital marketing expert Jeff Bullas, blogs with images garner 94% more views than those without.
Despite that, many company blogs do not include any images at all. Usually, an image isn’t included within the blog because finding just the right image licensed for use can be time-consuming or even costly, depending upon the image’s license permission.
ALWAYS include an image with your blog; the longer an individual blog is, the more images it needs. Try to move beyond using stock images because all of your competitors have access to those exact same images. Use image banks or, better yet, create your own.
12. Refusing to Edit and Proofread
This section should be entitled “Blogging 101” because writing blogs that are free of grammatical or spelling errors should be considered basic practice. Readers looking for expert advice lose confidence when blogs found on a company’s website are riddled with simple errors.
Read over your completed blog, then use proofreading software such as Grammarly or Hemingway. Then read it again.
Too many companies start a blog, write a few articles, and then realize that they have to keep doing it week after week, month after month, and year after year. They rationalize that it’s more important for them to focus on other aspects of their business, so they don’t blog regularly or with any sort of consistency.
That means content goes stale, and potential customers don’t receive the most accurate and up-to-date summation. Even worse, inactive blogs are often ignored by search engines.
Set a blog publishing schedule and stick to it. Most experts agree that the ideal frequency is 3 to 4 new weekly blog posts. While this may sound like a lot, it keeps your brand visible to new querents.
14. Ignoring Internal Links
Once you have a large enough library of published blogs, you will be able to refer to them from newer posts. This builds trust and keeps visitors on your website longer.
If you do not link to other blogs and pages on your website, you will appear to have limited expertise on that particular subject. If you look like you have run out of relevant things to say, your readers will go elsewhere for more information.
Build your library at its fast as possible, and include internal links to previous content with every new blog that you publish. The more information that readers can find on your site, the greater your perceived authority, expertise, and competence.
15. Bad Outbound Links
At the same time, you also need to include outbound links to other authority sources and recognized experts. Showing that you rely on trustworthy sources gives credence and supports your claims and conclusions.
Four of the biggest mistakes made that discourage trust and traffic are:
- Not including any outbound links
- Linking to untrustworthy sites
- Linking to competitor sites
- Creating links that open on the current tab, thereby moving away from your site
Always link to high-level sources that help build trust. Instead of using links that end in .com, instead, link o trusted sites that end in .edu, .org, or .gov.
Just as important, change your settings so that when a reader clicks on an outbound link, the link opens in a new tab, rather than closing your website.
16. Obsession with Keywords
Keywords are the most commonly used search terms that a reader might find out more information on a given topic. The search engines match those terms in the original query with terms found within your blog. They are an essential part of making your content more visible.
The problem is, that too many companies engaged in a practice known as “keyword stuffing”, where they insert far too many keywords into the blog, with excessive frequency. This makes the content sound unnatural and forced. This turns off readers and sends them elsewhere.
Always write naturally, in a conversational tone. When you include keywords, make sure they are grammatically correct and match the flow of the sentence.
Do not overuse keywords. Best practices dictate that keywords should appear around once every 200 words of copy. Fall too far below that threshold, and the search engines are less likely to notice the article. Go too high above it, and the search engines will penalize you.
While blogging should be an important part of your marketing strategy from the very beginning, you should not expect instant results. Too many companies don’t see immediate results, so they think that blogging doesn’t work. They discontinue adding new content and miss out on the long-term benefits.
Playing the long game. Realize that blogging is an investment that pays off over time, and when it does, the blog you published six months ago will continue to drive traffic to your website again and again.
The Bottom Line About Blogging
Publishing a regular blog is so much more than just slapping product information together and publishing it on your website. If done correctly, your blog library will show your company’s story in a way that brochures can never do.
Blogging is a highly effective marketing tool. Companies that publish high-quality blogs consistently generate 67% more leads than their competitors that don’t.
We hope these tips will help you avoid common blogging mistakes to successfully inform and engage your potential customers and increase traffic and sales.